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Printers Ball 2013: Trip & Return

Spudnik Press Cooperative is thrilled to announce the 9th annual Printers’ Ball: Trip & Return. The annual celebration of literary culture and printmaking will be held at the Hubbard Street Lofts, 1821 W. Hubbard Street, Chicago. Spudnik is taking the reins of this year’s program from the Poetry Foundation, the event’s founding organizer. This year’s program returns the Printers’ Ball to its roots as a neighborhood event with an emphasis on readings and performances, live printmaking demos and workshops, exhibitions, and food and drink tastings. The festivities will span an afternoon, running from noon until 6 pm on Saturday, July 27, activating seven gallery and studio spaces through the building and featuring some of the best poetry, visual, and culinary culture in the country.

“Spudnik has grown and our studio has integrated more printing processes, including letterpress and offset printing. These processes lend themselves to book arts and publishing projects. With Printers’ Ball celebrating the materiality of the literary arts, I think we’re an ideal organization to address how literature and printmaking intrinsically speak to and support each other,” says Spudnik Press Cooperative’s founder and executive director, Angee Lennard.

Founded in 2004 by Poetry Magazine Associate Editor Fred Sasaki, the Ball was first held at the now-shuttered HotHouse, later moving to various venues throughout Chicago, including the Double Door, the Zhou B Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Columbia College Chicago. Along the way, it has grown from a local celebration to an event with presenters from all over the United States and drawing attendees, last year more than 4,000, from across the city and beyond.

The theme for 2013 is “Trip & Return.” A letterpress printing term, it’s also a playful acknowledgement of the return to discussion of the craft. This daytime event will host letterpress and screen printing demonstrations, discussions by well-known print and poster makers, readings from local poets, and performances from Elastic Arts Foundation musicians throughout the many art and design spaces within the spacious building. Local food trucks and beverage vendors will also be on hand. As is tradition, magazines, literary organizations, and design studios—over 400—from across the country will provide complimentary magazines and ephemera to all attendees of this free event.

Confirmed presenters include:

Artist & writer Tony Fitzpatrick in conversation with Fred Sasaki
Printshop demos with Brad Vetter & Alex Valentine
Free jazz performances curated by Elastic Arts Foundation with Michael Zerang, Fred Longberg-Holm, Paul Giallorenzo, & Aaron Zarzutzki
Readings and broadsides curated by Woodland Pattern with poets Anne Kingsbury, Lewis Freedman, & Anna Vitale
Poetics Theater with the Danny’s Reading Series
Conversations with Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, Detroit Wood Type Co. & Signal Return
Reading and conversation with writer and visual artist Mary Burger
Risograph demos with SPARE
Workshops on surrealist poetry, bookmaking, & bookbinding
Summer spritzers by Hornswaggler Arts & WBC-Goose Island Root Beer and Spicy Ginger courtesy of the WIT Beverage Company
Sweet treats by Ice3 Ice Cream & savory snacks by 5411 Empanadas
On-the-spot tote bag screen printing by Spudnik Press Cooperative
Read/Write Library’s BiblioTreka Mobile Library

Curators include:

Sarah Dodson, MAKE Magazine; Nell Taylor, Read/Write Library; Luke Daly, arrow as aarow and Spudnik Press Cooperative; Adrienne Miller and Angee Lennard. Spudnik Press Cooperative; Chad Kouri, The Post Family; Elisabeth Hass, Simple Honest Work; Alison Kleiman, DePaul Art Museum; and Corrina Lesser, Chicago Humanities Festival, among others.

Printers’ Ball 2013 is presented in partnership with Spudnik Press Cooperative Printshop and Annex, Platform, Johalla Projects, The Post Family, Simple Honest Work, and IAEOU. Made possible by the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine.

Click below for admission tickets:

General Admission
Surrealist Poetry
Folded Book Structures
Book Binding

Founder and Executive Director of Spudnik Press Cooperative to Step Down after Fifteen Years

Chicago, IL – After fifteen years, Founder and Executive Director Angee Lennard is leaving Spudnik Press Cooperative, a community-based art center located at Hubbard Street Lofts in West Town, Chicago, to explore what’s next for her career.

“Printmaking in all of its forms is who I am, so while this is hard to say, the organization is ready for change in order to grow stronger and continue its journey”, says Lennard. “I founded Spudnik Press Cooperative with the aspiration of creating a cooperative space where printmakers can thrive. Together, with the support and dedication of the community, it has grown to become a dynamic organization built on a multi-faceted, welcoming, and resilient studio model. I look forward to staying connected.”

Spudnik Press Cooperative is unique in its dedication to printmaking and the cultural traditions surrounding print. Its studio houses professional facilities and rare equipment for a wide variety of traditional print processes and fine art publishing. The 4800 square-foot studio includes shared work space, private studios and mixed-use spaces for exhibitions, classes and community events.

“What Angee has achieved over the last fifteen years for Spudnik and the printmaking community in Chicago is truly extraordinary,” says a statement from the Board of Directors. “Her expertise as a printmaker has helped forge the organization’s reputation as a trusted resource for artists and collaborators in the printmaking space. She will be missed at Spudnik, and we look forward to witnessing her – and Spudnik’s – next amazing chapter.”

The organization began in 2007 as a live/work studio. Founder – Angee Lennard – created the community-integrated print shop to respond to the needs of printmakers and Chicagoans interested in the arts. Throughout its fifteen-year history, Spudnik Press has seen exponential growth. Programming began with a simple weekly drop-in Open Studio session and now includes a rich network of opportunities for anyone who wishes to be creative through Printmaking.

Between 2008 and 2011, the organization incorporated, received 501(c)3 status, moved to a dedicated studio space, acquired additional printing presses and hired a Studio Manager. Within four years, Spudnik Press Cooperative was able to offer access to professional letterpress, relief, intaglio, bookbinding, screen printing, and offset printing facilities. Programs expanded through new Open Studio sessions, a local residency program, youth field trips, and publishing prints in collaboration with artists and designers. Another studio expansion in 2013 allowed for the creation of an Exhibitions Program, a large-scale free festival, Printers Ball, and the inclusion of Risography into our printmaking resources.

As Spudnik approaches fifteen years of programming, it looks forward to bringing on new leadership at an important moment in its history. During this transition to find a new Executive Director, the organization will continue to minimize barriers to well-maintained, robust printmaking facilities while establishing a rich community of artists and art-consumers engaged in the vibrant landscape of fine art printmaking.

For media inquiries, email


Link to a Letter from Angee Lennard

Push & Pull: Steamroller Spectacular–Opening Reception

At times, we pull in our community. At times we push out our ideas, our visions, and our inclinations. This summer, Spudnik Press, and artist William Estrada, has brought together 200+ artists, students, and creative thinkers through various Chicago communities to reflect on how they and their communities “push and pull” physically, metaphorically, and politically. Each contributor hand carved a wood block, with imagery inspired by the Push & Pull theme. These blocks were then brought together to create banner-sized collaborative prints as part of Printers Ball 2015. These oversized prints, featuring art by as many as 84 artists, are much too large for a typical printing press. Instead, the pressure of a commercial steamroller was used to print each banner. These banners represent and pay tribute to the push and pull that is integral to a dynamic community. The culminating exhibition features a selection of the printed banners, as well as select individual prints.

On Saturday, July 25, Spudnik Press will host an opening celebration with live printing, a toast to the artists, and the opportunity to purchase the commemorative banners as well as individual prints.

The exhibition runs through August 12th. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5pm, or by appointment.

Participating Organizations:

Benito Juarez Community Academy Artime Club, SAIC Art Therapy Department, ArtReach at Lillstreet, Chicago Printmakers Guild, National Veterans Art Museum / YouMedia, South Chicago Art Center, Southside Hub of Production, Whitney Young High School, and Yollocalli.

Participating Independent Artists:

Erin Maresko, Emily Nie, Marilyn Propp, Heather Anderson, Meela Paloma, Christine Bespalec-Davis, Julie Cowan, Gaila MercadoElise Forer, Hannah Ireland, Megan Klawitter, Alex Kostiw, Jennifer Rich, Rogelio Rosiles, Judith Mayer, Steve Vidal, Lissette Martinez, Leonor Gallardo Hevia, Katie Moncton, Mary Serbe, Luthando W. Mazibuko, Amara Leipzig, Susannah Hera, Margaret McGill, Erika Valenciana, Salome Chasnoff, Miguel Delgado, Jaime Lockard, Maggie Piwowarczyk, Gloria Talamante, Jessica Caponigro, Tabor Shiles, Gabe Hoare, Liz Born, Nadine Nakanishi, Angelika Piwowarczyk, Liz WalkerCaroline Walp, Nicolette Ross, Pete Rangel, Erika VazzanaTara Zanzig, and more.

Photos by Leo Selvaggio

Spring Member Meeting

Meet and mingle with fellow Spudnik members at our quarterly Member Meeting! Hear all the details about what to expect at the upcoming Printers Ball on Saturday June 27 and unique ways that members can contribute to our largest event of the year. Plus, a Member Portfolio Exchange is long overdue. Bring ideas and enthusiasm, and help develop the theme, parameters, and timeline for our first exchange since 2012.

Experimental Poetry for Everyone

Join this class for a fun, exciting, friendly exploration of some of the most unexpected ways to make a poem! Drawing from a broad range of experimental traditions in writing poetry, this class shares and demonstrates new ways to approach poetry every week and emphasizes in-class writing time combined with supportive and practical feedback from peers and the teaching artist, Jay Besemer. Practices that will be introduced include the use of randomizing procedures, found materials, automatic/stream-of-consciousness writing, collaborative idea/text generation and more. Experimental Poetry is appropriate for beginners (“I’ve never written a line!”) yet beneficial for experienced writers who are eager to try new ways of crafting poems.

Students will leave the class with a series of new poems and a dozen practices for continue making more! Students will have the option of contributing or exhibiting a selection of work for the class at Printers Ball 2015: Push & Pull.

Experimental Poetry for Everyone is presented in conjunction with Printers Ball 2015.

Community Carving Kick-Off Workshop

Push & Pull: A Streamroller Spectacular is a community based printmaking project that will culminate at Printers Ball 2015: Push & Pull on Saturday, June 27, 2015. Spudnik Press Cooperative, in collaboration with William Estrada, invites artists, community organizations, and art teachers to contribute over 300 hand-carved woodblocks. These contributed blocks will be printed onsite using a steamroller to create oversized collaborative banners.

The project aims to create a dialogue with multiple voices from various communities through the development of a large scale printmaking project that engages various community stakeholders to reflect how communities “push and pull” physically, metaphorically, and politically.

Community Carving Events are opportunities throughout the city for participants to meet and carve together, with guidance from an experience printmaker. The series of community carving events begins Saturday April 4, 1-5pm at Spudnik Press Cooperative.Artists who signed up online to receive a block to carve independently are encouraged to pick up their block during this kick-off event. Additional dates and locations will be announced via

All carving events are free and open to the public.

Spring Member Potluck and Meeting

Please join us for Spudnik’s next Member Meeting! There are two exciting events on the horizon: Printers Ball, Spudnik’s Rummage Sale & Birthday BBQ. We’re excited to fill you in and begin a roster of volunteers excited to join the festivities. This meeting will be potluck style; please bring a dish or snack to share. We hope you’ll be able to come!

RSVP to on facebook or to Veronica Siehl.

Type Design 101 with David Sieren

Explore what constitutes a legible letterform through an intense, crash course in typographic appreciation. Explore the intricacies and aesthetic beauty of what makes up some of the most common typefaces you encounter daily through a hands-on analog drawing exercise. Then explore the minimum viable necessities required to create a legible letterform as we each create the components of our own typeface.


Made Possible by Poetry Magazine. Type Design 101 is a lead up event to the 10th Annual Printers Ball: Chatter, hosted by Spudnik Press Cooperative.

Shadow Puppetry 101 with Pup House

Learn how to design and create your own shadow puppet as we approach shadow puppetry as a form of magic; using slights of hand to deceptively delight an audience. In this workshop, we will briefly consider the little known history of shadows in storytelling, then dim the lights to experiment with a variety of techniques for simple shadow puppet theater. This class is led by members from the Chicago based experimental puppet collaborative, Pup House.

Made Possible by Poetry Magazine. Shadow Puppetry 101 is a lead up event to the 10th Annual Printers Ball: Chatter, hosted by Spudnik Press Cooperative.

In Clipping Signal—Opening Reception

In Clipping Signal is an exhibition of new and selected works by poets involved in the dual practices of writing and making visual collage. The show explores the connections between the practice of collage and its role in the formal, semantic and imaginative landscapes of contemporary poetic practice. The materials in the exhibition will consist of visual works as well as a publication consisting of images and writings exploring the intersections of poetry and visual art. In Clipping Signal includes works by local and national artists including Rosmarie Waldrop, Keith Waldrop, Gustave Morin, Michael Carr, Brandon Downing, Jen Bervin, Eric Unger, Norma Cole, Bailey Romaine, David Baptiste Chirot, Lewis Freedman, Barrett Gordon, Tom Ahern, Krista Franklin, Brett Brady and Kyle Schlesinger.

 In Clipping Signal is curated by Luke Daly of Spudnik Press Cooperative and April Sheridan of Columbia College’s Center for Book and Paper Arts.

Made Possible by Poetry Magazine. In Clipping Signal is a lead up event to the 10th Annual Printers Ball: Chatter, hosted by Spudnik Press Cooperative.